Jobs Report: Hiring Slows, Unemployment Rate Still Historic


The US jobs engine added another 145,000 new positions, the slowest pace in seven months and a bit short of economists' expectations, while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.5 per cent, remaining at a 50-year low.

The goods-producing sector added 15,700 jobs, helped by a gain of 17,000 jobs in the construction industry, with British Columbia and Ontario contributing the most to the rise, Statistics Canada reported. There were also 1.2 million people who were considered to be marginally attached to the labor force in December, down by 310,000 from a year earlier.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.1 percent), adult women (3.2 percent), teenagers (12.6 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.9 percent), Asians (2.5 percent), and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little or no change in December.

The labor force participation rate came in flat at 63.2%, but average hourly earnings rose only 0.1% (or $0.03 per hour) from November, versus an expected 0.3% gain. Employment in leisure and hospitality rose by 40,000 payrolls and retail trade added 41,000 payrolls.

The US economy created 2.11 million jobs a year ago. In 2019, the best month in employment was January's increase of more than 30,000 jobs.

The Brookings Institute also previously released its analysis of the American economy and found that even "as the US economy hums along at a favorable pace, there is a vast segment of workers today earning wages low enough to leave their livelihood and families extremely vulnerable".

For comparison, the local unemployment rate for December 2018 was 3.6 per cent. Also, November's jobs total was revised downwards slightly, by -14,000.

According to the Department of Labor, mining employment declined by 8,000 in December. Unemployment in the region was recorded at 6% in November, with 2,500 unemployed.

Also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the U.S. unemployment rate stands at 3.5%. "It is important to remember that periods of stronger wage growth for production/nonsupervisory workers in this recovery tend to be followed by periods of relatively weaker growth". This December the 12th of the month, the date on which the wage survey is based, and the 15th, a common payday, didn't fall in the same week - something that often leads to artificially depressed wage growth calculations.

"Since the recession. manufacturing has been a steady grower and we still expect that to be the case in the near (future)", he said. But the company stopped expanding its payroll the past six months, as some customers slowed output. After revisions, job gains have averaged 184,000 over the last 3 months.



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